Along the North Slope
Highway | Hotels
Like the smaller Eagle Plains in the northern
Yukon, Deadhorse is the Alaskan version of a company
town. Its only reason for being -- above the Arctic
Circle -- is to service the busy oil operations of
Prudhoe Bay. Deadhorse is the end of the Dalton Highway,
a rough and ready drive from Fairbanks, through some of
the finest scenery in Alaska.
There are several places to stay in this town of
anywhere from 3,500 to 8,000 (depending on how busy the oil
operations are at the time). There is a service station
in town, with gas and tire service. Scheduled airline
flights are available, connecting this Arctic outpost to
Fairbanks and Anchorage.
Deadhorse is several miles from the Arctic Ocean. An
oil company road leads north from town, but permits are
required to travel on the road. The best thing to do is
to sign up for a guided tour of the oil fields and the
Arctic Coast. These will be available in Deadhorse, after
you arrive. If you iwish to travel further, the Arctic Ocean
and the oil field are accessible by guided tour only.
This is a spartan little town -- more a camp of pre-fab buildings than anything else. Alcohol is not permitted at Prudhoe Bay, and you'll probably want to eat at your hotel - three meals a day may come with your accommodations.
Dalton Highway bus tours can be booked in Fairbanks, with Alaska Tours, call 866-317-3325 (Toll-free) or (907) 277-3000 or go here.. These tours start from
Fairbanks and are limited to ten participants. Tours
cover the oil field operations, the pipeline, and feature
wildlife viewing along the coast.
Northern Alaska Tours offers a veriety of tours via bus and air. The tour to Deadwood is offered as a return bus trip or a flying tourists to Deadwood and taking a butsto return to Fairbanks. For information, call Toll Free: (800) 474-1986 or direct at (907) 474-8600, or go here.
For oil field tours from Deadhorse, contact Prudhoe
Bay Hotel Tours, at (907) 659-2449 or Tour
Arctic, at (907) 659-2368.
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If you're adventurous enough to want to drive to
Deadhorse (in summer only, and with a permit), prepare
carefully for the trip.
You should make note of available places to purchase
gasoline, and where to stay and eat along the way. This
is a long, long haul, on an aggravating gravel road, with
semi trailers having the right of way.
The Dalton Highway begins 83 miles north of Fairbanks,
and runs to to Deadhorse and the oil fields of Prudhoe
Bay - a trip of 414 miles. This narrow, gravel highway travels through rolling,
forested hills, across the Yukon River and Arctic Circle.
You'll ride over the rugged and majestic Brooks Range,
and descend the long slope to the Arctic Ocean. You're in
wilderness almost every mile of the way.
There are two places to buy gas: Yukon River Crossing,
and Coldfoot. The Yukon River is reached at Mile
56. Here, there's a small log cabin visitor center
staffed by the BLM, open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. You
can pick up a lot of good road advice here. Also at the
crossing is Yukon River Tours, offering boat trips
three times each day.
Northern Ventures operates the gas station
(with tire repairs!), a cafe, and hotel at the crossing.
The Arctic Circle is crossed at Mile 115 with
Coldfoot (lodgings) at Mile 175. Coldfoot Services calls itself the northernmost truck stop in the world,
and it just might be. The motel here (Slate Creek
Inn) has 50 rooms and a 24-hour cafe The RV park
offers plug-ins and a dump station. For motel/RV park
information and reservations, call (907) 678-5224.
The government Interagency Visitor Information
Center is located in Coldfoot -- open during summer
months from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call (907) 678-5209 for
information from the BLM, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
and the National Park Service. The Dalton is an access
road for Gates of the Arctic National Park. Staff
at the visitor center are there to answer questions
during summer months, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days
a week. Printed material on the region is also available.
North of Coldfoot, the road enters the Brooks
Range, with a campground at Mile 179. You'll pass the
tree line near Mile 230, before climbing over Atigun Pass
The town of Prudhoe Bay, at Mile 414, is the
end of the Dalton Highway. From
Where to Stay